We, The Mighty Arsenal, Don’t Have A Number 1 Keeper

I keep thinking about what Wenger said recently  “we do not have a number one keeper”.

So I did a bit of research. Gerry Peyton, our goalkeeping coach is leaving for personal reasons (Irish would know a bit about him, having represented Ireland on over 30 occasions). Two years ago Sczesney broke both hands, and most probably Arsene is assessing him, but to be fair in the two pre season matches so far, he has had little or nothing to do.

IMO Schwarzer is still on the radar as a keeper/coach, probably short term in the first team, but I doubt anything will be resolved until Fulham have a new manager in place. That leaves Almunia. I wonder where he really stands in Wenger’s mind.

A good point that I have read several times is that the goals ratio to shots that we concede is very high for a top 3 club, and how often, especially at The Emirates we see keepers have their game of the season when they are continuously bombarded by our attacking options.

It makes sense to me, that a keeper who spends 75% of a game doing next to nothing and then concedes will always come under the spotlight a lot more than a keeper who may concede 3 or 4, but actually have a good game.

This is just another point of view as to our definite keeper problems, though the defensive issues are also a must to be addressed.

Is there really an argument that a keeper can be too young to be a first team choice? Look at Iker Casillas,  a product of Real Madrid’s youth system who started in the junior squad during the 1990–91 season. He was first called up to the first team on the 27 November 1997 at age 16 to face Rosenborg in UEFA Champions League 1997–98, but it wasn’t until the 1998–99 season that he debuted in the senior side.

La liga may not be as strong or physical as the Premier league yet now he is regarded as one of the best in the world, and has shown his class on countless occasions for Spain.

We have three problems and they are all linked – not on ability or coaching but by a mental barrier. Almunia has had personal problems and like it or not is compared to Jens Lehmann. Fabianski was mentally shot last season, so can he come back into the cauldron and Szczesny is unproven at the highest level.

At least, at long last, I feel Wenger knows he has to address this problem sooner rather than later.

Written by kelsey

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100 Responses to We, The Mighty Arsenal, Don’t Have A Number 1 Keeper

  1. Morning all

    Will a new experienced keeper make up for the short-fall in experienced defenders?

    If Sol stays – which will as you all know make this gooner very happy – he’s not the solution to having a strong partner for Vermaelen long-term.

  2. London says:

    Good post Kelsey

    I hope you are right when you say “Wenger knows he has to address this problem sooner rather than later.”

  3. Sorry, how rude, nice post kelsey – I’m really worried about no-one wanting Almunia and we get stuck with him – thats going to be embarrassing.

    The whole goalkeeping/defending situation is really going to bite AW on the bum IMO.

  4. Lee Andrew Morris says:

    whats happening with shay give? wasnt playin yesterday for man city. hes the one to go for. best keeper in the prem.

  5. Old Gooner says:

    What a joke, every team has a number 1 goalkeeper, why should we be different.
    This puts pressure on the defence, it puts pressure on the team and worst of all it puts pressure on the poor fans.

    Lets get a manager with some sense.

  6. Morning London – I’m not sure he does, Barumgooner(andy) was saying on yesterdays post that our mid-fielders are stronger this year than the start of the season last year which I agree with and I think that Arsene will see his riches in the middle and up front and decide that the lack of experienced CB’s can be absorbed.

  7. Kipmonster says:

    I propose that Arsenal fans World wide post letters once a week for the next four weeks to UEFA & FIFA complaining about Barcelona FC’s ‘tapping up’ of Cesc Fabregas. Also post a letter just once to Arsenal FC requesting that they formally complain to UEFA & FIFA. I have drawn up 3 template letters that I will email to willing participants. All you need to do is type in your own Name & Address before printing off & posting. Momentum will be boosted by you forwarding the email to every one of your Arsenal FC fan family & friends, encouraging them to participate.
    The aim of repetitive letters is to create an Admin headache for UEFA & FIFA with thousands of letters received from all over the world & display the strength of feeling from Arsenal FC fans. The purpose of the single letter to Arsenal FC is again to display the strength of feeling from us fans.
    My email address for this campaign from where I will email you the letter templates is …….. ArsenalFansHateBarcelonaFC@gmail.com

  8. Stav says:

    I think Almunia will end up being sold back to a Spanish club and I hope he does well. I think he is well liked in the dressing room, but unfortunately lacks that extra bit of class we need at Arsenal.

    You didn’t mention Vito Manone? I suspect its a straight shoot out between him and Szczesny long term?

  9. Gareth26GOONER says:

    Any chance we could see the template first, it could be a load of gibberish lol and I think Given is still injured, it looks like Sol and Schwarzer will be our lot

  10. guy says:

    is it bad that im happy about not having a number 1? im a glass half full kinda guy and when someone tells me there is a chance almunia wont play again i get rather excited and a bulge appears in my trousers

  11. alright guys now im a massive arsenal supporter and think that arsenal yes have a goal keeping issue but wt every 1 is forgeting is that we have Sczesney now ive seen him playing and he is one of a kind he dominates the cb which no 1 has done receantly and hes got great goal stoping abilites i think give him first team start it will make him step up to the plate. i think thats what he needs just a firm push in the right directions

  12. Danny says:

    Guy, my sentiments exactly!

  13. Gunner38 says:

    All Arsenal fans now have that familiar feeling. It’s late July, Arsene has been banging on about 2 or maybe 3 quality signings, and the web is full of crap stories about the 250 plus players on our radar. My youngest son (17) said to me yesterday that ‘Arsenal are up to their same old tricks aren’t they?’ Well sadly I feel they are. We wait and wait, desperately hoping to see that quality signing. We log on to newsnow, sit in front of Sky sports news and hope that the yellow bar reveals a world beater.

    Sadly, I had to tell my son that in the forty years I have supported Arsenal, they have never really gone out and bought big (Bergkamp & Arshavin the exceptions)and to not get his hopes up. I told him we’ll probably start well, see the best football, look like we are going to win the league but fall short because of injuries and suspensions and a woefully small squad. Sound familiar?

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Arsenal to the core, arranged marriage and any other important occasion around the seasons, had a season ticket for 13 years and bought the kids every kit going. But I am realistic, so I don’t get too excited about all the chat. If it happens, it happens. I just hope it happens soon.

  14. London says:

    Well, it’s great to have you here Gunner38

  15. Rasp says:

    Hi Gunner38 and welcome,

    I think you are spot on with your assessment. We will end the summer with a net spend of less than £5m (that’s after the purchase of Schwarzer) and the wage bill will be slightly reduced …. kozzer and Chamakh will earn less than Gallas and Eduardo.

    The manu fans are having to come to terms that they don’t have any money to spend either and the £80m for Ronaldo has been swallowed by their debt.

    Clubs that are run as businesses will not come out and say they have no money to spend as this will effect the value of their ‘stock’. For the first time in years, manu have failed to sell all their season tickets.

  16. kelsey says:

    Gunner38,

    Interesting comments but care to consider this.

    Did anyone think either Chelsea or Unitd would lose 6 or 7 games last season, and this year I predict with Spurs and City very much in the mix we may possibly see one of the tighest finishes for years.

    Injuries happen to all clubs, but we are “blessed”with them, and surely if Gallas,Fabregas and Arshavin had all been fully fit for the last ten games things might have been different.

    Today’s post is primarily about our keeper situation, but one must link the defence issues to this.

    our priority must be to concede less and build from that.

    Do we have the personel to do that at the moment, I am not so sure, and for that reason I feel we may still buy at the least a CB.

  17. Jenkinson says:

    People keep on banging on about Given but he’s out until mid-September and he’s on ManCity type wages – so there is no chance whatsoever of getting him.
    It was rumoured Arsene tried to sign Akinfeev in January so that might be a possibility; Lloris has also been rumoured but he would be very expensive.
    I don’t think Schwarzer would be much of an improvement on Almunia. I guess he will wait until the CB purchase is completed to see how much money he has – also as the window draws nearer the close prices will drop.

  18. tonyadamsisgod says:

    Aaahhhh some old faces on here I see!! Nice post Kelsey!

    We have to be looking at Lloris. He’s French which will please Wenger, quality which will please the fans. The world cup hasn’t inflated his price and Lyon would probably deal at around £15m – £18m I reckon. That’s not a lot for a guy that was easily the best keeper in the CL last season!! See below:

    He’s well worth the money!!

  19. Gunner38 says:

    London, Rasp Kelsey: Opinions are a right of the free world and I understand that not everyone agrees with what I think. That’s fine, and I respect everyone’s thoughts. Primarily, my love is for my club and I am desperate for the trophies to return and genuinely believe we have been very close in two of the last three seasons. I just believe that if we had gambled on one or two signings then, we would have had one, maybe two more titles. We all have one wish, for Arsenal to be returned to their rightful place for which their football deserves. Arsene knows – I just hope this time it really does work.

  20. kelsey says:

    Hi tony nice to see you as well.

    With regards to Given, a keeper that has been mentioned a thousand times for nearly two years, it is an interesting fact that if one listens to the Newcastle fans, they never really rated him as much as so many of us Arsenal fans do.

    He’s a shot stopper is the classic phrase. he is quite small by keeper standards and also isn’t the best at crosses.

    We need a keeper who commands his area and has a good understanding with his defence.

    This has been lacking for several years now and to me that is the main issue.

  21. Gunner38 – great comment, IMO there are many, many gooners who feel exactly as you do.

  22. tonyadamsisgod says:

    Kelsey – “We need a keeper who commands his area and has a good understanding with his defence.”

    Spot on. That is exactly what has been missing!!

  23. London says:

    Join the club Gunner38

  24. kelsey – thats the most worrying thing – buying a new keeper and having a new centre-back pairing – this problem should have been solved 2 years ago.

    No back-up for Gallas and Toure and we buy Silvestre!!!!!!!! in 2008 with Senderos going out on loan.

    2009 we sell Toure and buy Vermaelen – excellent purchase – but we’re still short because we know if Gallas is injured we’re in trouble so we get Sol – also an excellent excellent addition – but still we have no cover. Oh Silvestre – I forgot ;)

    2010 – no Gallas – our most experienced CB – possibly Sol and an untried Djourou and Kozzer aaaarrrrrggggghhhhh

  25. London says:

    Hi tonyadamsisgod

    It’s good to be able to chat to you again, I think our last converstaion was about Rosicky, do you still think he should be sold?

  26. kelsey says:

    I hope irish doesn’t read what i said about Given ;)

  27. Rasp says:

    I have come to the realisation that we actually didn’t have much money to spend this summer. This is probably because the club has plans for further development of the ‘business’. I am aware that they are considering increasing the capacity of the Emirates – a stadium that is sold out every game isn’t big enough.

    There must also be concerns behind the scenes as to the destination of Lady Nina’s shares and the effect that will have on the power struggle at Board level.

  28. I disagree Rasp – I think Arsene can’t find what he wants….or they don’t want to come

  29. Rasp says:

    Mertesacker for £10m and Sol for another year would solve all our CB problems

  30. kelsey says:

    Rasp,

    sorry my friend.

    We can’t increase the capacity of the stadium.Islington Council will not allow it.

    health and Safety reasons.

    Morning London,

    there was some speculation last night that Rosicky may (I stress may) return to Burrisia Dortmond.

    To me he looked really sharp the other night, in fact the best i have seen him play for years,after his long injury, so hopefully he will be an integral part of the squad, injuries permitting.

  31. London – if you’re about, I can’t get my accents to work anymore on my laptop – I just get crotchets….any ideas. I’m asking you because you showed me how to do them originally.

    I change to NumLK then Alt+Fn and then 138 or whatever but they all give me crotchets :roll:

  32. tonyadamsisgod says:

    London – Alright me old fruit!! Personally, I think so. maybe we shouldn’t actively push him out the door but I think we should let it be known that a good offer would see him sold. To me he is a constant gamble and I would prefer to give his wages to someone who isn’t so injury prone. But he wont be sold and this coming season will entirely shape the rest of his career. If he has a good season then he can buy himself more time at Arsenal. But if he has a poor season then I think he’ll be fast approaching the later stages of his career. At least with clubs like Arsenal anyway.

  33. Rasp,I agree, so why no Mertesacker then?

  34. Rasp says:

    Morning kelsey,

    Great post.

    I have researched the stadium for a couple of weeks now and read reports from people involved in the design and build. You are correct that originally it was only allowed to be 60,000 capacity, but there is every expectation that the council would consider increasing the capacity (not the size) once Arsenal have fulfilled all their obligations attached to the original permission.

  35. Rasp says:

    Peaches,

    No Mertesacker because we haven’t got the money – or more accurately we don’t want to spend the money on players.

  36. tonyadamsisgod says:

    Rasp – The Emirates is far from bursting at the seams I’m afraid. The sight of empty seats has been regularly and well documented. We do have money. We have made so much on player sales and revenue that it would be near impossible for us to have no transfer budget. We are not like City that has bundles of cash lying around but what has always been made very clear from board members is that if Wenger wants money he will be given it. Just as was the case with Arshavin. The board have so much faith in Wenger that they will give him anything he wants.

  37. kelsey says:

    Maybe they could put some seating inside the goal, that would be a start :)

  38. Hi Tony – I agree with you about Rosicky – he was nearly there a few times last season, must have been frustrating for him.

  39. Ash says:

    I still dont understand, why we are willing to pay a lot and get old schwarzer for a short term fix, while we can get a old and better david james for almost free.. and is english as well..

  40. Rasp says:

    Hi t.a.g.,

    The stadium may not look full, but the seats are pretty much all sold, its just that some of the ‘fair weather’ fans (season ticket holders) don’t turn up.

  41. London says:

    Bloody Hell, what’s going on that is two comments in row that I agree with you on TAIG.

  42. Rasp says:

    I’m not saying we aren’t buying a CB because we want the money to spend on the stadium, just that it has become apparent that our attitude to buying hasn’t changed significantly compared to the last 4 years.

  43. tonyadamsisgod says:

    Rasp – I can’t find an article to back it up but apparently season tickets have taken a huge dive this summer and the waiting list has been massively reduced. Anyway, the point being that there is a very slim, if not no chance of surplus cash being injected into a new project like that. Arsenal declared that they had paid off a huge amount of the loan on The Emirates last year and thus freeing up more money for other needs.

    Its simply down to Wenger. Mancini has got it right. I don’t care if City’s budget is £2m or £200m but the fact remains that Mancini will use as much of it as is necessary to improve his squad. Wenger will not. The last 5 years have seen him make signing but none of the quality that is needed to push us towards glory. A good example is Vermaelen. Now while he is a great player and had a brilliant season, the fact remains that he didn’t solve our defensive frailties, in the air especially. He should have been viewed as Gallas’ replacement, not his partner as he needs that monster CB next to him.

  44. tonyadamsisgod says:

    London – Shit! One of us must have changed! The question is…..which one?? :D

  45. kelsey says:

    We have had this discussion many times. The invisibles coincided with the gradual break up of that team and with the highbury square project and the funding of the new stadium, i believe we were cash poor.

    Wenger, to a degree , thought that over a number of years project youth and careful spending would be the short term answer.
    You are right we did find a considerable amount by our standards, to buy Arshavin, but no one could legistate for 3 broken legs to our squad, and what appeared to be ever increasing injuries to key players.

    City will kill football as we knew it, and will finish up with 8 or upwards sitting on he bench for most of the season on an average of a 100K a week. madness sheer madness.

    I would never want our club run like that, even if we have to wait a few more years for trophies, at least we would be solvent.

  46. Anthony says:

    I really think Arsene should be giving Mannone more time. The fact that he continues to start Fabianski kinda worries me. Nobody seems to be mentioning Mannone at all, as people keep focusing on Almunia’s exit, Fabianski’s unreliability and horrendous pink kit against Graz,and Szczesny’s inexperience/promise. I see Mannone and Szczesny battling for the spot long term. Schwarzer is goin to be 38. We need to start looking towards the future as opposed to finding decent stopgaps.

  47. dandan says:

    Morning all, good article kelsey, My thoughts on the subject raised are.
    Will we spend £10 to £15 mill on a keeper? no we wont.
    Will we buy an older keeper to help bring our youngsters through? yes I think we will.

    Will we buy a new centre back, I had thought yes, but having seen young Havard Nordtveit play twice in the last week, I am thinking that Sol could well be used along with JD and HD as cover for TV and Laurent Koscielny.

    The new generation of Arsenal players are reaching fruition together and will begin to take their place in the team, Tomas Rosicky could well go before season starts but at any rate I believe it will be his last season and even if he stays i expect him to play sparingly.
    The Arsenal of 2011 will look much different to the one of today, but they will be mainly home grown players, even if the were brought as youngsters from all over.

  48. emma says:

    wow his great keeper i really support you, i hope wenger can spend the money he has for everton mf on this guy. please guys who can call wenger antension on this guy.

  49. tonyadamsisgod says:

    Kelsey – You miss the point about City. They have a manager that is doing all he can with what the board have given him. Wenger is not. It was also well documented that the loan for The Emirates came with a covenant that a certain percentage of the income had to be invested into the team. This is probably why players like JET can afford to go out and buy a £100k Mercedes and get arrested for not having a license.

    This summer no one can argue that we do not have money. Last summer we made so much in player sales and moving on bonuses without re-investing it that it must be there this year. That’s without considering the usual revenue of tv money, gate taking and prize money.

  50. kelsey says:

    tonyadamsisgod ,

    I do believe money is available now but how much is another matter.

    I understand what you say about Mancini, but if City win nothing this year, will he still be there come next May.

  51. I’m pretty sure that the lump sum that we had to pay off was for a loan for the Highbury Development not for the Emirates. The reason we were in financial trouble was for taking on the development of the Highbury site and not for building a new stadium. Although obviously the building of the new stadium had an effect on our spending power.

  52. Rasp says:

    I don’t think we ever had any intention of spending the so-called ‘warchest’ this summer. The figures bandied about were somewhere between £30m and £45m. We have been told in previous seasons that Arsene had £30m to spend if he wanted it. All I am saying is that we will not spend much more whether the money is actually available or not.

    I don’t believe AW will buy another CD after paying £8.5m for kozzer – that would make his purchase look like a mistake as we would never pay that kind of money for a ‘back-up player’.

  53. tonyadamsisgod says:

    Kelsey – Nope. But I’d rather have a manager that acts on such obvious weaknesses rather than a manager who buries his hand in the sand. As it things stand right now, literally RIGHT NOW, there is absolutely no doubt that City will at the very least move ahead of us this season. I’m not sure if they will win the league but they will finish higher than us.

  54. Mancini is in a no win situation – he has to buy whether he needs to or not because the clubs owners have the money and expect him to.

    The effect of this is two-fold, they take players out of the market that could have boosted their opposition’s teams but they don’t really build a team for themselves – just a load of footballers.

  55. dandan says:

    Tony. Arab City exemplifies everything that is wrong with football, as did Real with the Galactico years and now Barcelona. It will be interesting to see how this “super city” do this year is there any harmony in the camp. Will they accept bench warming

    Why must you spend money just because you have it, what about all the young players on the fringe of our squad who left home for a foreign land, do they not deserve a try before Mercenaries.

    Yes Tony some young players will let the money go to their head, but that applies in all walks of life not just football.

    For me the lovely football AW provides is a head and shoulders in value above a title or pot But don’t get me wrong, I would enjoy us winning something as much as all Arsenal fans but not at the cost of crapping on our youngsters and fuelling the bank accounts of mercenaries.

    The new squad system will play into our hands this year, we will be successful and solvent and eminently watchable.

  56. tonyadamsisgod says:

    dandan – I’m not saying buy because you can I’m saying buy because we need to. We all know Wenger says that he’ll only buy players that are better than what he has and if he stood by that we would be seeing him sign a new GK, CB and DM. Maybe he will.

    What lovely football? We don’t play like we used to, no where near! Our passing game has fallen to pieces. Did you know that even the spuds made more passes than we did last season!

  57. tonyadamsisgod says:

    Would love to stay and chat people….good blog it seems so I’ll try to get back soon! Enjoy!

  58. kelsey says:

    Great discussion folks, and not a swear word in sight.This is what blogging should be all about, and in any case we all support the same team through thick and thin.

  59. dandan says:

    Tony we were bedevilled by injury last year, while all our youngsters were out on loan, but still finished above the spuds.

    We have a new CB and a whole crop of midfielders comming through. A GK we need but the transfer window still has a long way to go.

  60. Rasp says:

    Hi dandan,

    I reckon you and I are in agreement with the prognosis, but not the methodology of reaching that conclusion :lol:

  61. dandan says:

    Cant argue with that Rasp, PS gonna get my head down when a young lady comes on and sees i have said that Tomas will go LOL

  62. Rasp says:

    dandan,

    I don’t know where irish has been for the last couple of days. Obviously TR7 is past the peak of his career, but arguably, he has looked one of the sharpest in the pre-saeson games so far. I’d definitely want to keep him for next season as his defensive play is way better than AA’s and Nasri’s.

  63. David says:

    If we made 2 or 3 quality signings (my preference would be Tim Howard of Everton who is a dominating presence in the box) and a big experienced stopper defender such as Mertesacker or failing that Hangeland it should be ok. Koscielny could surely play DM if needed-his attributes are an excellent reading of the game & good tackling-perfect for that role.Keep Sol for his experience and back up. If Cesc goes then bring in Ozil or Arteta.

  64. fatgingergooner says:

    i think i agree with you on this one Kelsey. i would be very suprised if Schwarzer wasnt in the Arsenal team next season, but nothing will get done until they decide who their new manager is.

    i think he would be an ideal signing and would give Szczesny the chance to prove himself as a first team keeper.

    the fact is though that signing Schwarzer, or any other keeper for that matter, will not cure our defensive frailties. we cannot continue to allow our full backs to bomb on without having an extra defensive minded body in the midfield. Song is a fantastic DM, but he cant do anything when we are outnumbered 4 on 3 against counter attacking teams.

    we rely far too much on our centre backs and Song, these should be the last resort when it comes to defending. we need to start learning to defend and close teams down further up the park, aka Barcelona.

    until this is resolved then we are going to struggle against the stronger counter attacking teams.

  65. Good point fgg about the centre-backs being the last resort – too much indifference has been applied to the fact that although Vermaelen and Gallas were a great CB pairing our problems last season largely came from the fact that the middle of the park let teams get through.

    We must get back to closing teams down and working harder to get the ball back.

  66. Danish Gooner says:

    I didnt see it coming that Arsenal is now turned into a psychiatric ward for hapless goal keepers.The more i look, the more i dislike this Wenger Arsenal it is turned into a kindergarten for spoiled hapless no good players or just some who wants to be at another club.

  67. chika says:

    can someone pls come get almunia out of our club. let arsenal inform them that we are willin to even pay them.

  68. fatgingergooner says:

    is there any reason why Mannone is nowhere to be seen in this debate about Arsenal keepers?????

    he looked pretty solid last year when called upon and certainly didnt do his reputation any harm when called up to the first team.

    i know everyone is having a love-in with Szczesny right now, myself included, but surely the young Italian deserves a mention aswell!

  69. Totally agree that Mannone should be included in any debate about our keepers – he did really well when thrown in last season but AW didn’t ever give him another chance after that – as soon as Almunia was fit?????? Mannone was dropped :roll:

  70. ArseChicago says:

    Can we sign Luis Suarez as goalkeeper? Seriously, though, why not buy Robert Green from West Ham? It’d be the ultimate contrarian move. He’s still a pretty decent goalie, despite the incident against the U.S. Plus, perhaps we can loan W. Ham Szescney for a year, just as B’ham took on Hart. I’m convinced that Arsene and his folks are working diligently to find the right players, but it still takes two to tango. The other side has to want to sell as well. Remember, if you look at the million or so stories about who all the big clubs are supposed to be buying this offseason, how many actual deals have been done? Not many. Unfortunately, it takes a bit of time. That being said, if Arsene isn’t finding his GK, I’m all for rolling the dice with Szesceny if that’s who Arsene believes is our best GK, despite his age. Whether or not he finds a GK to buy, the money sitting there needs to be spent, whether on another striker, a DM, or another CB. I know Arsene doesn’t like to pay inflated prices, but these inflated prices are market prices when you have the big money clubs comprising “the market”. We sold Toure and Ade at above market prices. If we like a player, we should be prepared to spend more than what’s ideal.

  71. Butterfingers says:

    Almunias not that bad. Hes a good keeper but the way we play means he will always be under strutiny.It will be the same for any GK who dons the gloves.

    Arsenal as a team cannot defend and it doesnt matter whos in the sticks, they will all suffer until the outfield problem is addressed

    Almunia made alot of errors last season but his confidence was shot to bits and Arsenal are a big big club. Its alot of pressure.. Fabianski isnt the answer hes too nervous.

    If i were wenger i would forget about schwarzer. Keep almunia with Chesny as back up and improve the outfield starting with a world class CB and a world class CM..

    Theres and old cliche in football about a good GK installs confidence in his defenders.

    At arsenal its the other way round. The outfield installs no confidence in their GK because he knows the the strikers will get the easiest of chances due to the outfield not being able to clear corners,free kicks or close down.

    Arsenal dont offer that many chances throughout the game (unless we are playing another big team) but the chances we do offer are always easy.either a free header or one on one with the keeper and its the keeper who takes the flack..

    Almunias not perfect. no keeper is, but hes a good shot stopper and i think we’ll find if we actually learned how to defend and give the oppo harder chances almunia instead of free shots at goal from 6 yards out would keep more clean sheets..

  72. Butterfingers says:

    Also reading comments earlier about the stadium capacity.

    The emirates was designed to hold an extra 20,000 seats if it wanted to. It can therefore hold 80,000. The club are looking into expanding but not just yet.

    Islington city council will not allow it as yet until Arsenal fullfill their promise of building a new sports complex and local facilities around the area.

    Its a case of you scratch my back and i’ll scratch yours but the bottom line is more money will be spent on bricks and mortar before we see any serious cash spent on the team. We have loads of cash but football is the last thing on the boards agenda. They have other plans for the club and Wenger is commissioned to keep quiet and maximise profits with minimum input.

    The board have sold us down the river and wenger is in on it every step of the way.

    Anyone hoping for major transfers better not hold their breathe. It wont happen.

  73. Butterfingers – thanks for the information about expanding the stadium do you have any links to anything in writing.

  74. Alexan Aui says:

    New squad I hope 1HART, 2EBOUE, 3CLICHY, 4SONG, 5VERMAELEN, 6KOSCIELNY, 7DIABY, 8NASRI, 9CHAMAKH, 10VAN PERSIE(captain), 11ARSHAVIN, 12VELA, 13SAHIN, 14WALCOTT, 15DENILSON, 16RAMSEY, 17LANSBURY, 18ERIKSEN, 19WILSHERE, 20VAN DERWIEL, 21SZCZESNY, 22GIBBS, 23SUBOTIC, 24MANNONE, 25BENDTNER, 26NORDTVEIT, 27EASTMOND, 28RODWELL, 29EMMANUEL THOMAS

  75. Herbert Chapman's Arsenal Army says:

    I can think of at least 5 Prem clubs with TWO better GK’s than ours (inc. Stoke!). If we have the money that Ivan Gazidis says we have, for the love of Arsenal fans everywhere, build a side capable of comfortably beating Chelsea & Man Utd, and one that can conquer Europe & bring home the spoils of war! Justify that £2million a year salary Mr Wenger, as well as the highest-priced tickets in Europe.

  76. London says:

    Herbert

    2 mil……you are in for a shock……he gets paid at least 5 mil a year……..very passionate comment though.

  77. Andy Mack says:

    I think AW is looking for a few players (but ‘saying maybe one more’ because he doesn’t think he’ll find more than one), but he also knows that he has some very good younsters (Lansbury, Nordtveit, Frimpong, JET) that must be ‘blooded’ this year. Plus he must give some of the fringe guys like Eastmond, CV & JD some more playing time. He could end up losing the next superstars just because he didn’t play them enough to see their real ability under pressure.

  78. Herbert Chapman's Arsenal Army says:

    Hi London, sure I’m only saying what we all feel. It’s Graeme Green, I just wanted a more ‘Arsenalised’ monicker if that makes sense. I like the ‘Arsenal Arsenal’ site, always interesting intelligent debate. Maybe the Emirates hierarchy should take a look so they get an idea about how we all feel. I’m behind the times, didn’t realise Wenger was on £5mil a year. That’s even more insulting.

  79. kelsey says:

    Herbert Chapman’s Arsenal Army,

    Thanks for your input and kind comments

    We are just coming up to our first half year of Arsenal Arsenal, and by all accounts we may have a record month for views and comments a figure approaching over 60000, so we must be doing something right.

  80. RockyLives says:

    Patience, the signings will still come this summer: a keeper (probably Schwarzer to mind the shop until Chesney is ready), another CB (Mertesacker, Jagielka. Hangeland) and a CM (Melo?).
    I can understand the cynicism expressed by many on here, but in previous years we couldn’t afford to spend. Now we can and we will. Don’t pre-judge.

  81. Hi Rocky- where’ve you been, we’ve missed you.

    Any of your choice of CB’s would be fantastic but did you read the discussion earlier about the club needing to spend money to fulfill their obligations to Islington council.

    In view of that, how much money have we got?

  82. barumgooner says:

    Hello all. Thats what I like to hear RL. I have been thinking Melo all summer but now I doubt that we will get a CM. We seem to have a few options there and if AW gets Jagielka or Mertesacker then he has the option of pushing TV forward if needed. I think you are bang on with Schwarzer and Mertesacker though.

  83. barumgooner – could you sign in with an email address that I can write to please, all my emails to you get sent back :(

  84. barumgooner says:

    try that one Peaches

  85. Roy says:

    Look at the England debacle at the world cup, that’s what happens when you don’t suitably address your keeping options.
    IMO Fabianski should go on loan, Almunia should be sold/released and Vitto and WS should compete for the number 2 spot behind an experienced international. Given and Schwarzer the obvious candidates.

  86. Thanks I’ll give it a go later

  87. RockyLives says:

    Hi Peaches – have been missing you lot too. I’ve been abroad out of internet range and, most recently, moving across the pond to Canada. All settled now, so should be back to normal.
    It’s quite possible I’ll eat a big dose of humble pie at the end of the transfer window if we haven’t signed anyone else. But my reasoning is that, apart from the money thing, I really think that AW came to a realisation at the end of last season about just how far we could get with the current squad. To me it felt like he was giving clear signals that he has decided to strengthen from without rather than within, and with experience rather than youthful promise.
    I hope I’m right.

  88. Herbert Chapman's Arsenal Army says:

    Is everyone ok with Schwarzer? I’m really opposed to the idea. I think it’s a cop-out, and one that only papers over the cracks. Of course it’s only opinion & if we could all pick our ultimate Arsenal dream-team we’d probably all pick a different XI, I just think after years of Almunia we deserve a world-class GK, one that makes people sit up & take notice. One that says to the football world we are serious contenders. Schwarzer won’t give us that.

  89. ArseChicago says:

    Here’s the problem. If a team has a world class goal keeper, why would they give him up? Unless they needed money or something. Again, it’s all well and good to want Lloris or Akinfeev. But their team has to want to sell them too. Tough to have all the conditions be met.

  90. Herbert Chapman's Arsenal Army says:

    It’s as though we’re either over-ambitious, and the clubs ambition doesn’t tally with ours. Last August Wenger assured the world’s media he was confident Arsenal could win silver-ware & to judge him in May (and considering he now only really tries in 2 competitions is some confidence!). When May came along & Arsenal collapsed having been well short of what was expected, Wenger’s response was that some Arsenal fans expectations frightened him. It seems absurd that finishing 3rd or 4th has become more important than winning a real cup, such as the FA or Lge Cups. And if all his energy is put into the Premier & Champions Lge, we should be a damn sight closer & a hell of a lot more competitive than Wenger’s teams have been recently.

  91. London says:

    If a player only has a short amount of time left on his contract and he wants to move it is wise for the club he is with to accept an offer rather than risk losing the player shortly after on a free transfer.

  92. ArseChicago says:

    So I guess what are the contract situations on Lloris, Akinfeev, Handanovic, Skeklenburg, etc.? I could ask what Schwarzer’s contract might be but he should be worried about the stuff old people worry about before worrying about when his contract ends.

  93. PinnyTheGooner says:

    Some great points made here folks. I think everyone’s in agreement that there is a need for at least one more defensive player and a goalkeeper.

    Also agreement that Arsenal’s ideal Goalkeeper, while a good shot stopper, would need to be a good organiser/ dominate the box type, who would rarely have to make saves or demonstrate his skill (the Edwin Van Der Sar/ David Seaman type)

    There was a good point by FGG earlier about the team defending higher up the pitch (like Ian Rush used to do for liverpool) and I think that’s key – we haven’t been able to play that style since Flamini left, and it means teams have too much time to re-organise to cope with our short passing game – something we’re forced to do without a good target man…

    Hopefully having three 6ft 2 strikers will stop us being too lightweight upfront this season.

    For my money, our first eleven can be a match for anyone (Barcelona included) But our squad is woefully thin, and if it’s not working, we don’t have the capacity to grind out games.

    Preferred starting line up below: If I had the cheque book – I’d get Anderson from Man U to add power to midfield.

    4-1-2-1-2

    Schwarzer

    Clichy
    Campbell
    Verminator
    Sagna

    Song

    Fabregas
    Rosicky/ Diaby (Depending on if we need to battle)

    Arshavin

    Van Persie
    Walcott or Bendtner or Chamakh

  94. Rasp says:

    Thanks PTG and welcome,

    You make some good points. Unfortunately most bloggers are not around this late on a staurday night – see if you can come on tomorrow to discuss your ideas.

  95. barumgooner says:

    Hello PTG. I share your view that the keeper has to be dominant and commanding of his territory and that the team have got to defend en-masse. I think the bigger picture is that over the past few years we have fielded very un-balanced teams who are all comfortable on the ball but not so good at getting it back. Just adding a GK and CB is not the answer to our problems. It is a start but AW has to be more flexible in his approach and be willing to field sides dependant on the opposition rather than being the predictably stylish side that the other lesser teams have learnt to deal with. I am a supporter of Wenger but for a man nicknamed the professor he can be terribly naive in his attitude that beautiful football will always overcome.

  96. RockyLives says:

    Pinny, the funny thing is we started last season defending from the front as if our lives depended on it (think of the 6-2 p[ening day win at Goodison and the performance away at Old Toilet where we only lost because of a mad own goal and a trademark Rooney dive for a penalty). Then, after a while, we just stopped doing it. Why?

  97. barumgooner says:

    For me a defensive side to start against the big four or the thugs would be more like
    schwarzer
    sagna kozzer djourou Gibbs
    song vermaelen
    walcott fabregas Nasri
    and any of RVP or MC

    But for more open games or when we have the upper hand then Tv could drop back so as to introduce the extra creative player in the middle.

  98. London says:

    “Cesc wants to be with us, but he told me how close the Arsenal fans are to his heart,” said Iniesta.

    http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/sport/887778/CESC-STAYS.html

    What kind of idiots make these stories up. We may love Fabrégas and being the most talented player we have for the position he plays it goes without saying that we want him to stay — but I find it hard to believe that there is a single Arsenal supporter who thinks that if Arsenal accepted an offer from Barça that Cesc would turn down the chance to go solely because of his love of us the Arsenal fans.

    We are not that stupid, just have a good holiday, come back for a bit of training, put the new shirt on and lead the good guys out at Anfield, score goals and kiss the badge as much as you want, you have done nothing to be ashamed of.

  99. Morning all

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